Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Land of Extremes

"Korea has the most hard-working but least efficient workforce among the 30 OECD nations," reports Cho Jin-seo — Korean workers hardworking but inefficient. "The Ministry of Strategy and Finance said that Koreans work the longest hours in the OECD nations but their productivity is less than half of American workers."

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Blogger Enbrethiliel said...


This obliquely reminds me of my two Korean tutees. They study incredibly hard--and for almost double the time of their Filipina classmates--but their output hardly seems worth the effort.

Last week, during a conversation exercise, I asked one of them what she thought of the Department of Education's proposal to add one more year of compulsory education. She mentioned that her class had discussed the same thing that day and that everyone in the room except her had been soundly against it. LOL! Her reasoning was that more time to study is always better than less time. I suspect her classmates' reasoning was that institutional education--particularly beyond the middle school level--is a rotting waste of time. Period. Exclamation point.

7:09 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

The grad students I tutor always complain about working until 1:00 or 2:00 AM in the labs.

Then, one of them spent six months in the US. She came back and said that everyone there worked from 9:00 to 5:00, solely focused on their work, never socializing.

Here in Korea, they come in around 10:00 or 11:00, chat, have coffee, go out to eat together, play some computer games together, maybe watch a movie on their computers, and do a little work in between.

She said she preferred the Korean style.

One grad student told me he could only work late at night because there was so much socializing during the day.

10:48 PM  

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